Festo is a founding global partner of WorldSkills and sponsor of the UK National Skills Competition which takes place at The Skills Show on 14-16 November at the NEC, Birmingham. Festo will supply mechatronics, mobile robotics and industrial control (the latter in partnership with Siemens) equipment for competitions in these skill areas.
As a worldwide manufacturer of pneumatic and electric automation equipment Festo is keen to help young people make the connection between science, engineering and many of the everyday inventions that are around them and there will be a range of training systems (fluid power, production, process automation, PLCs) on display with Have a Go opportunities covering the technology and application of industrial automation.
The Skills Show is a showcase for skills and provides the opportunity to bring young people and industry together. It hosts a series of interactive events, across several industry sectors and Festo’s main area of interest is in engineering and manufacturing.
Festo, like many other growing SMEs in manufacturing and engineering finds it difficult to attract the right new talent. Its strategy to attract young people to Festo, and engineering in general, is multi-faceted:- to work with schools, colleges and universities; engage with young people at career shows; to nurture apprentices, providing them with the essential technical and design skills for a career in engineering; to provide graduate opportunities and to equip managers with the right skills to get the best out of apprentices and encourage them into engineering and manufacturing careers.
10% of Festo’s UK staff are STEM Ambassadors, volunteers committed to raising engagement within the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. They work closely with schools and colleges in the area to raise awareness of the practical application of STEM subjects in the workplace.
Festo works with two apprentices a year from Tresham College and provides a structured programme for their learning while at the company. Festo’s sister company Festo Training and Consulting also provides support to other manufacturing and engineering firms with apprenticeship schemes, to help equip their apprentices with the technical and design skills often lacking in young people as they enter the engineering workplace.
A recent survey by Festo Training and Consulting, with Works Management Magazine showed that UK industry is still suffering from a skills shortage and that this can have a major knock-on effect to productivity. With only 6% of the workforce in manufacturing and engineering under the age of 35, the industry needs to attract new talent to build a sustainable future. 64% of organisations will take on an apprentice this year, yet 52% of apprentices do not have the expected level of design or technical skills. There is therefore a strong requirement for companies to provide young people with the opportunity to work with the latest technology, which may not be possible within an education-only environment.
More on Festo Training & Consulting.